Thursday, March 26, 2020

The Dervish Are Finished

One 54-figure band of Dervish warriors all ready to go.
Armies In Plastic Dervish figures.


The Dervish are finished!  That's probably what Lord Kitchener said too in 1898.

Today I finished the last six Armies in Plastic 54mm Dervish (ansar) figures that I have been working on lately as part of my 54mm Toy Soldier Sudan Project. It's not an official project unless the letter "P" is capitalized.

The final six figures are finished.
I tried a new color scheme for some of the Dervish, using a khaki or cream triad of colors using P3 brand paints.

The painting recipe for the "White" color scheme is:

IWM  Grey                 77-707   - base color
P3      Morrow White  93073    - highlight color

The painting recipe for the "Cream" color scheme is:

P3     Jack Bone                           93064   - shade color
P3     Menoth White Base            93065   - base color
P3     Menoth White Highlight    93066   - highlight color

The finished figures were given a gloss coat to provide protection from wear and tear.

In the first pair of figures, the fellow on the left illustrates the White scheme, although I altered it a bit by using the creamy Menoth White Highlight as the shade and Morrow White as the highlight color in a two tone recipe.

The second figure, on the right, uses the Cream triad of colors. I kind of like the way that this figure turned out because it gives the jibeh a sort of dirty and worn look that seems more natural than the stark white colors.

Two different color schemes: white (left) and cream (right)

Rear view of the Dervish shown in the previous picture.

All of these figures had their plastic swords clipped off and replaced with a piece of metal wire. I was surprised by how easy it is to drill through the plastic. I cut the sword off at the hilt, leaving the cross piece on the figure, then I drilled through the cross piece and out the back of the fist. This gives the appearance of a sword with a hilt, otherwise, cutting off the cross piece would make the wire look like a spear instead of a sword.

Here is an example of the same figure pose painted in the two different color schemes:

Another example of the white versus cream color scheme

Here are two Dervish painted entirely in the Cream color scheme.

Two figures using the cream color scheme.

Finally, here are the last six figures that I painted, bringing the Dervish warband up to 54 figures.

The final six figures, in situ

I thoroughly enjoyed painting the AIP 54mm Dervish figures and recommend them if you are interested in a similar project. The price is terrific: 20 figures per box for about $9.00 per box. The figures are sturdy and should hold up well to the wear and tear of wargaming. Finally, the proportions and animation of the figures are the goods, as far as I am concerned. I highly recommend these figures.

Let me know which of the two color recipes that you prefer: White or Cream. Leave a comment or opinion in the Comments box at the bottom of this post. I would really appreciate your input on this as it will help me decide on future Dervish units that I might paint.

So please, please, please and pretty please leave a comment. Let's see if we can break the 20-comment barrier. Go at it lads!


  1. Nice work on the dervish hoard, my prefence is the cream scheme

  2. I think both cream and white. It was a pretty dusty environment! The white could be for newer recruits... with newer issued clothes. The cream could used for veterans who had been campaigning for a while. I always wondered about the bright colored patches, though! Wouldn't that be like pinning a target to your chest that says, "Shoot Here For Best Result!"?

  3. Those AIP figures are rather nice in sensible poses unlike some of the odd ones you get in 1/72nd scale .

  4. Lovely paint job on these figures:)

  5. Dare I float the idea? These look even better than Peter Gilder's and John Ray's old collections. Certainly every bit as good as. And larger.

    Best Regards,


  6. Very nice for the later Mahdists, I always loved the coloured squares on the white clothing look!

  7. Definitely cream for me.Gives them that "I've been out here for a while"look!

  8. I would opt for cream also, it gives greater definition to the figure, plain white is just a bit too flat.

  9. Cream for realism, but white if you want toy soldier look..

  10. A v impressive addition to the army. Bargain figures especially if you can mix them with some metals. Cream for meplease add the next 100.

  11. Interesting figures, Jim & nice work indeed. I feel that a whiter look is preferable, but a dirtier white rather than full cream. I found an interesting article at that includes several useful pictures as well as detail. Perhaps the white scheme as you have done, with a selection of different washes at the end - sepia, ochre, etc to get that well worn cotton look. Also the odd figure with a different colour, especially leaders..perhaps red, blue or black robes? Keep safe & well, Rohan.

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